Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Madder Root tea towels and napkins are made from 100% organic linen. We chose linen because of its strength, absorbency and tendency to soften with use. Linen is made from the the cellulose fibers of the flax plant.
While there are many ways to extract the fibers from the plant (including chemical treatments), the fibers for the linen we use are retted using moisture (dew or other water sources) which naturally rots away the bark. The long fibers are then cleaned, combed and straightened for spinning. Much of this work is still done by hand because of the fragility of flax fibers in their natural state. Once spun into thread or twine and woven into linen cloth, this amazing fabric is 2 to 3 times stronger than cotton.
Although flax can grow in the United States, preferring cool, humid climates, production for linen textiles is, largely, done outside the country. In recent years, most of the flax grown in the United States has gone to the production of linseed oil.
While linen can withstand hotter temperatures, we recommend washing our products in cold water, which is friendlier to the environment and helps keep the inks brighter longer. Line or tumble dry.